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The Office Special (2004)

Ricky Gervais , Mackenzie Crook  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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The Office Special + The Office: The Complete Second Series (BBC Edtion) + The Office - The Complete First Series (BBC Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002W4P8Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Office Special" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Documentary on the making of the specials
  • Music video
  • Making of "Freelove Freeway"
  • Golden Globes featurette

Editorial Reviews

The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a satisfying conclusion in The Office Special, originally a two-part Christmas special on the BBC, set three years after the end of the faux-documentary's second season. The former office manager David (Ricky Gervais) now ekes out a desperate existence as an oblivious quasi-celebrity, making awkward, humiliating visits back to the office staff he still believes loves him. Gawky Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) has risen to manager and become a petty tyrant, while the sweet but snide Tim (Martin Freeman) continues to pine for former receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis), who fled to Florida with her fiance. When the documentary crew pays for Dawn to return for the holiday party, an unpredictable reunion looms ahead. The Office fuses scathing humor and genuine empathy, turning excruciating social discomfort into inspired satire. Fans will find this special rewarding in all respects. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Ricky Gervais, Lucy Davis, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook. The only non-U.S. sitcom ever to win a Golden Globe pulls out all the stops for this 90-minute special with more of the situational comedy and laugh-out-loud awkward moments that make it a comic gem. 2003/color/90 min/NR.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
178 of 182 people found the following review helpful
When we last left the staff of "The Office" it was at a crossroads: secretary Dawn and her fiancee Lee were headed for the States, Gareth was headed for a promotion, and everyone's least favourite boss David Brent had been made redundant. The only person not heading in a new direction (unless you count downwards) was the person who never moves at all: Tim, the every-man of the show whose future prospects were looking monotonous and bleak.

Now, three years later the BBC documentary crew have come to film a follow-up show and see where their previous stars have ended up. Gareth is on a power trip as the new management boss of the office, though he wields about as much respect as David did in his day. Tim is miserable, unsuccessfully trying to bond with the new secretary who is utterly baffled at his jokes and seated next to Anne, a woman with appalling manners and long-winded stories. Dawn is tanned in Florida, but without a real job permit she's forced to babysit full-time for the mean-spirited Lee's sister's baby.

And David. Oh boy. Reduced to a cleaning-produce salesman, he's attempting in his evenings to break into show business by guest appearances at pubs and nightclubs. However, the general public at large despise him, and he's beginning to realise what the rest of the world has always known: he's a pathetic schmuck. And here is where the show takes its most astonishing turn - in the first two seasons, we alternatively cringe and laugh at David's behaviour, but now we are made to feel profound pity for him. One scene in particular, in which David eats alone in an empty food court, actually brought tears of pity to my eyes. No one deserves to be this lonely.

But the Christmas party is looming.
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123 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny I forgot to laugh November 11, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Office hit me hard, much to the dismay of my coworkers who had to listen to my analysis of the series ad nauseum. Lots of people have reviewed this series, and I don't think another summary is necessary. But I wanted to offer a slightly different take on why this thing "got in amongst me" as much as it did.

For starters, I never thought of this series as a comedy. Yes, it has some very funny moments. (OK, it has some hilarious moments.) But they're not what define this series.

At its core, I think it's about David Brent and Tim Canterbury, two people who are really two sides of a single coin. Superficially, they couldn't be more different. One demands attention, the other shuns it. One is a juvenile and utterly self-deluded egomaniac, while the other is principled and sensitive. But both are finding it impossible to get what they want out of life. They're insecure and frightened, and they wear their dysfunctional personalities like suits of armor. Unfortunately, this comes at a high price. They are being dishonest with themselves and with the other people in their lives. In retaliation, life periodically dishes out humiliation, sort of like the shock the rat gets when he takes the wrong turn in the maze. We're on the wrong path, and Zap, we're not going to be allowed to get away with it.

The other (wonderful) characters in the series exist mainly to put David and Tim in situations that reveal who they are. We find out that neither Tim nor David seem to respect themselves. Tim sells out his dream to return to college by staying on the job for a paltry promotion. He eventually refuses a high position, allowing his bizarre desk mate Garreth to get the job instead.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *All your wildest dreams come true!!* September 1, 2004
I was in England when they showed the Christmas Specials on the BBC. And as I am an avid fan of The Office, this was the day(s) that I had been waiting for for months! The special is not only the BEST ending to a series that I have ever seen, it is also the first time I have cried FOR SHEER JOY at the ending of it~

You will laugh with pain for the characters, and sit in awkward silence not knowing whether to laugh or cry for David/Tim/Dawn. It will fill all the gaps in your heart that the two season left! It contains all the painful David Brentisms only much more intensified as he is a despraite man at the end of his pitiful rope. Tim is at his all time low, while Gareth is at his all time high. And Dawn, well, you will see!

I definatly recommend this to anyone with a brain who has seen and loved The Office. It is simply The Best!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By TMac
Nancy Franklin wrote a review of "The Office Special" in the New Yorker's October 25th issue, the first sentence of which reads,

"Nobody who has seen the BBC series "The Office" has anything bad to say about it, and there's a reason for that: it's perfect."

I couldn't agree more with her on that count; the first two seasons constitute the best sitcom ever made. However, proceeds to damn "The Special" through faint praise, calling it "less satisfying" and saying that Gervais and Merchant "bowed under the pressure" to give fans a happy ending. She concludes the review by saying,

"Still, one can't help wishing that Gervais and Merchant had left well enough...alone. We needed a sequel to "The Office" as much as we need a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice."

Franklin is completely wrong in her analysis here, and here's why. "The Office Special" can't be viewed as a "sequel" to the original series; it's more of a corollary.

The half-hour episodes of the original series were so compelling because no other work (sidebar: I believe the lofty word "work" applies to this stuff) has captured the awful, crushing, dingy mundanity of our lives like "The Office." Enough has been written on that count which doesn't need to be rehashed here.

"The Special," on the other hand, accepts those facts, but appends them with this: our real triumps in life come in the face of that very mundanity, and they are the very few, very small moments of joy we manage wrench away from Our Office every now and again. That sounds sappy in print, but I think it's important to keep in mind as you view (and invariably re-view) "The Special."

So what we have here is NOT a sequel, and don't feel guilty about the happy endings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect happy (not sappy) ending to a perfect series
**********************MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS********************************************

Like another American reviewer, I was in England when the specials aired (lucky... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Arliene H
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Gervais
I absolutely love this show. My wifew came across the British Office by accident, when it was on BBC and thought I would like it. She was wrong....I LOVE it. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Michael L. Sweet
5.0 out of 5 stars The Office UK Version A+++
As a fan of the version here in the U.S. I was curious to compare. Honestly, I ended up liking the U.K. version a little better. Read more
Published on August 26, 2008 by Jellybellymomma
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant end of a brilliant series
Three years after the conclusion of the second series, the BBC film crew returns to follow up on the lives of the office workers they chronicled for a hilarious pseudo-documentary. Read more
Published on April 13, 2008 by David Bonesteel
5.0 out of 5 stars The extras are great, too
I can only echo all the positive comments thus far..if you're an Office fan you need this "closure" eh? Read more
Published on January 20, 2008 by Music lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect wrap up
This final chapter of the Office saga is tightly written, extremely funny, and surprisingly moving. The writers are almost sadistic in their treatment of David Brent, as they throw... Read more
Published on September 16, 2007 by J. Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars For all Office lovers
This is a great ending to the UK series. Hilariously funny. A must see for viewers who have so far only seen the US version. Watch the first two seasons first though!
Published on January 30, 2007 by M. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars bbc
Love the office. Ricky Gervais is hilarious. And thanks for sharing your comedy with the state. Cheers
Published on January 15, 2007 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen...genuinely...
This show is a symphony. A perfectly constructed one, at that. The acting is spot-on and deadpan, as the cast maneuvers their way through one comedic/horrific scene to the next. Read more
Published on July 27, 2006 by Andy Hardy
4.0 out of 5 stars The last piece to my collection
I have loved the office ever since I saw it when it was brand new in the UK. I just had to buy the DVD's when I got back to the US. The Special was the last piece that I needed. Read more
Published on July 14, 2006 by Tom Stevenson
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